One YouTube video opened a whole new life for me. The video was the original, feature-length “Two Roads” message – skillfully presented as only John Lynch can deliver.
It’s weird in a way; the video should’ve been old news. I grew up a preacher’s kid; I spent almost more time in a church building than in my own home.
My dad and I agree – this kind of Good News wasn’t proclaimed in most Southern Baptist churches during his career as a pastor. “Amazing Grace” was a favorite hymn – but the extent of my amazement was the ticket to heaven Jesus offered to even a wretch like me.
Imagine my shock and awe – almost 50 years later – to discover the true gift of grace was so much more than a mansion on a golden street on the after-life side of the pearly gates.
John articulates the “Two Roads” dilemma so well: pleasing God or trusting God?
What?! My mind can’t even fathom a life with any other motive than “pleasing God.” Then John goes on to offer the truth from scripture that “only when we trust God, do we really please Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
I watched the original version no less than 40 times. Over and over again. The hope. The freedom. A new identity? Why hadn’t I heard this part of the Gospel before now?
My addictive viewing habits of this amazing grace story began to validate what I had been witnessing in my research and in my work with students and families. Grace changes everything; grace expresses itself in love. Love is a process of meeting needs.
Love is the fuel of maturity; growing in maturity increases capacity – and character.
Almost a year later – from the day I’d first been invited to watch the message on YouTube – I wrote an email – to firstname.lastname@example.org. I didn’t know who was going to receive the email; I didn’t know there was a “TrueFace.” I just knew there was a video – and I was benefiting from it greatly – and I had more questions. I needed more.
My email shared my work in education – applying the truths of grace to work with students and families.
The email also shared my questions:
- John says, “I promise to never, never, never, never, never, never, never use the word punishment again in relationship with you.” What does that mean? I’ve been in the world of education for 30 years; we spend hours creating behavior modification plans – and discipline charts with “levels” of punishment. What does the truth of this Good News offer for this practical life issue?
- “What about this new DNA idea? Christ in me? An exchanged life? Please, tell me more.”
- “If I don’t trust you, you can’t love me, no matter how much love you have for me.” Huh?!
I hit the “send” button and took my dog to the park. I’d written the email in need – and in great faith; trusting God.
I received a reply in 32 minutes. David Pinkerton wrote that they pray to get emails like mine; he’d forwarded my email to the three authors. (I didn’t even know there were three authors!)
Ten days later, Bruce McNicol (one of the three authors and CEO of TrueFace) was in our living room and we were enjoying dinner together.
When TrueFace says their mission is to create communities of grace and develop relationships of trust – you can trust them.
Bruce invited me to sign up for an online course: High Trust Leadership certification. He thought I’d benefit from what the course had to offer. He said so many inspiring and encouraging words. I specifically remember this one, “Own your influence.” Wow.
That was two years ago. I’ve taken this course three times; it’s that nourishing. Now they let me help facilitate a cohort in the course – so I’ve experienced the class four times.
Beginning August 1, I’ll experience it again. Maybe you’ll decide to experience it, too.
I could say my life changed as a result of this course – but that would only be partly true. This course taught me my life changed the moment I trusted the work of Christ on the cross. Grace gave me a new identity – in this life; my new life begins the moment I trust – and lasts for eternity.
There really are two roads:
- pleasing God. “At the root of my motivation to please God with my efforts and my striving and my fruitless attempts to ‘put sin in its place’ is my attempt to soothe the depth of my shame.” (trueface.org)
- trusting God. “My primary motive is not to please God, because only my trust pleases Him.” “It is only when I trust God that the power of my shame is broken by the power of His grace.” (trueface.org)
There really are two rooms:
- The pleasing God road leads to the Room of Good Intentions. I had lived there ALL my life. I didn’t know there was another room. I had tried so hard. I had hidden behind so many masks. I was dependable, but not really trustworthy. My relationships had evidence of battle scars.
Now I trust, “My righteousness is not measured by how little I sin, but is evidenced by how I receive and give love.” (trueface.org)
- The trusting God road leads to the Room of Grace. People are real; trusting happens here. There are no masks. Love abounds – and sinks deep into my heart – without a mask. Love helps me grow up; love heals wounds. Grace heals relationships.
There’s a wayside, too. People live on the wayside when they’ve grown tired of the Room of Good Intentions – and don’t know about the Room of Grace. Some have gotten so hurt in the Room of Good Intentions they’ve given up on pleasing or trusting.
There really are two targets:
- In the Room of Good Intentions, my aim is to look good. I’m supposed to be good. I can’t be good enough, so I hide – or I medicate – or both. Because I hide, my heart doesn’t receive your love. Because my heart is hidden from love, I don’t mature. In my immaturity, my struggles increase – and so does my hiding.
- In the Room of Grace, my aim is to grow up into all that is already true about me – because of the new life of Christ in me. It’s messy. It’s not perfect. I get to ask for help. I get to be loved. Love is the fuel of maturity. I learn to love you, too.
“Believers can mature into trusting their heart because they have a new heart. When they do, they will express love. It is always the fruit of grace.” (trueface.org)
There is a way home. It is amazing; it’s grace. Watch this video to consider this idea: “What if there was a place so safe that you could share the worst of you and you’d be loved more for the telling of it?”
This blog is an invitation – the same invitation Bruce offered me a few summers ago. Pray about taking the High Trust Leadership course.
The course begins August 1 – and continues for 16 weeks. It’s a deep dive into scripture to discover the original Good News.
It’s so much more than a ticket to heaven; it is a wondrous soaking in the love of the Father to remind you who He really is, and who you really are, too.
I love your comments – and your questions. It’s good when a blog is the beginning of a conversation.